US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both expressed hope for a breakthrough on COVID-19 relief on September 30, as they prepared to resume talks aimed at hammering out a bipartisan deal.
As House lawmakers began moving forward on a new $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus bill, Mnuchin said he thought that he and Pelosi could "reach a reasonable compromise" and would know in the next day or two whether they had an "overall understanding."
"We're both making a good faith effort to try to get this done. And I think we want to figure out whether we can get it done, and if not, move on," the Treasury secretary told a CNBC investor conference.
Mnuchin said he would pursue negotiations after the Nov. 3 election if no deal is reached ahead of it.
In a separate interview with MSNBC, Pelosi said: "I'm hopeful. We'll just see what they come back with today and how our negotiations go next."
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She and Mnuchin spoke for about 50 minutes on Tuesday. It was not clear when the two would speak on Wednesday.
The House Rules Committee is debating an updated Heroes Act coronavirus relief package, which House Democrats unveiled on Monday. The panel would set the parameters for a House floor debate and vote on passage, but much depended on the outcome of Pelosi's conversation with Mnuchin.
"It's a negotiation. We won't get everything we want," Pelosi said.
Formal talks between Pelosi, Mnuchin, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows broke down on Aug. 7. Pelosi has since taken the lead for Democrats.
She and Schumer initially pressed for a $3.4 trillion relief package but scaled back their demands by over a $1 trillion. The White House began at $1 trillion proposal and later said Trump could agree to $1.3 trillion.
A report from Height Securities said Mnuchin could give Pelosi an offer of $1.5 trillion to $1.6 trillion on Wednesday.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.